These two beautiful bears were caught at our Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre giving what looks like an adorable moon bear hug to each other – a sight not unusual at our sanctuaries.
Healthy bears living in the wild are generally solitary animals. From around two years old they leave their mother in pursuit of fresh foraging grounds.
In stark contrast, the bears at Animals Asia’s rescue centres in Vietnam and China usually arrive healthy in neither body nor mind.
They are profoundly damaged animals, in many cases suffering from physical disabilities and psychological trauma – never having known life outside a cage.
Once rescued from this torture, living alongside each other is a major part of their mental rehabilitation.
Like a self-help group, these bears make all the difference to each other’s lives – sharing beds on winter nights, and splashing in the pool together on summer days.
The bear teams, who spend long days monitoring the animals’ behaviour, can vouch for the fact that this interaction helps the bears stay mentally alert and stimulated, while playful wrestling does the same for their bodies.
And it all goes to show – sometimes friendship is the best medicine.
Happy #moonbearmonday everyone.